New guidance on testing for visitors to care homes

The new guidance will come into effect from Friday, July 16.

New guidance on testing for visitors to care homes iStock

Family and friends of care home residents will be recommended to take a lateral flow test before visiting under new guidance issued by the Scottish Government.

In an email to the sector on Tuesday, the Government indicated that visitors will be advised to contact the care home to confirm whether they should carry out their test.

Lateral flow device (LFD) testing can be done at home, or at the care home.

If the care home requests that visitors undertake the test at the care home at the start of the visit, timings and arrangements should be confirmed with the care home.

The new guidance on testing will come into effect on Friday, July 16, the Scottish Government said.

Trudi Marshall, health and social care North Lanarkshire, said: “Regular testing using LFDs is important as it plays an important role in helping us to find positive cases in people who have no symptoms, but who are still infectious. 

“Testing at your home or at the care home should be done on the day of the visit. If you are a regular visitor to the care home each week you may test twice weekly rather than each time. The care home will advise on this. 

“If you are testing at home, you will receive confirmation of the result by text message and email to show proof of your result. The care home may ask to see this proof of a negative test result before visiting. 

“If you do not have access to a smartphone or tablet, you may be asked to take the test on site at the care home. 

“Please remember that each care home has different circumstances to take into account. It is important that you follow their guidelines to ensure the safety of loved ones, other residents, staff and visitors while we continue to fight this global pandemic. 

“As always, please do not visit a care home if you feel unwell.”

A Scottish Government Spokesperson said: “We recognise how important it is for residents and loved ones to connect and remain committed to supporting further improvements to the safety of care home visits.

“An email went out to the sector on Tuesday afternoon advising them that the new guidance on testing would come into effect from Friday 16th July.

“This will also be published on the Scottish Government’s web page.”

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